Harrison Butker is the Best Kicker in the NFL
Mark Van Sickle
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is the best kicker in the NFL. Butker is so good, I already forgot he had to kick a 30-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to put the Chiefs in position to make the game into overtime against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon. We all know what happened after that, but for those who may have missed the news, Butker made a 58-yard walk-off field goal to give the Chiefs a 23-20 win over the Chargers.
I have been on the Butker Bandwagon since the team signed him off the Panthers practice squad on September 26, 2017. A rookie out of Georgia Tech, Butker was blocked by the reliable Graham Gano, who remained a Panther through the 2019 season. Little did the Chiefs realize, on that fateful day, they would be signing a future Hall-of-Fame-caliber kicker.
Butker missed the first field goal attempt of his NFL career, but wasn’t phased by the moment. He would go on to make three field goals, including the go-ahead game-winning field goal with four seconds left in the game.
The following week, Butker went 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts. He wouldn’t stop there and ended up making a franchise record-setting 23 consecutive made field goals. He also broke a franchise record with 38 field goals made in a season. Those 38 made field goals were also an all-time NFL rookie record. Keep in mind, all of these records were broken by a kicker who didn’t start his first game until Week 4 of the NFL season.
Butker continued his dominance in 2018, but as the Chiefs had one of the best offensive outputs in NFL history, he wasn’t called on to kick as many field goals. In 2019, he led the NFL in total points scored. In the middle of the 2019 season, MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes missed two consecutive games with a knee injury. The team lost the first one to the Packers and really needed a win to boost the team morale heading into the home stretch of the season. The second game in that stretch is now known as “The Butker Game”. Butker was 4-for-4 on field goals, including a game-winner as time expired in a big win over a team in the Minnesota Vikings that would eventually make the playoffs. The Chiefs would go on to get home-field advantage in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Butker led the charge.
Butker holds several other Chiefs franchise records for a kicker and continues to impress as his career moves forward. He is second all-time in NFL history in field goal percentage, making 90% of his attempts. On top of all that, Butker is 100% on every field goal and extra point he has ever attempted in a Super Bowl. Not only is he accurate, but he has a strong leg as well. Butker feels like he is only beginning to scratch the surface and wouldn't mind eventually setting the record for the longest field goal in NFL history.
Butker’s career trajectory continues to push him on a path not only toward the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, but the NFL Hall of Fame as well. Typically kickers only get recognition when things go wrong or when they’re making game-winning kicks. Fortunately for Kansas City, Butker is one of the most consistent kickers to ever play the game. Butker is as much a part of making the Chiefs a dynasty as all the other cornerstones the team signed this offseason, and his teammates agree.
The team will have Butker on board at least through the 2024 season and he is excited to be making clutch kicks for the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a beautiful thing.